Tuesday, July 29, 2014

a big weekend!

this past weekend was big. and crazy. and full. and, goodness, this family of ours takes everything i have but i wouldn't have it ANY other way!!

pat and joshua spent thursday-saturday together. just the 2 of them. doing lots of fun "guy" things. AND going through the "passport to purity" getaway. i did the same thing with rebekah when she was 10 and thought the program was excellent. i was curious to see what Pat thought...he's WAY more critical than i am. but he also loved it and said it was so well done. it's not just "the birds and the bees"...it also talks about changes in their bodies, peer pressure, all kinds of things they need to think about as they become older! joshua absolutely loved his time with Pat. and i loved praying for them and letting it happen for them.
with rebekah away at camp, and pat and joshua away on their weekend, i just had these 4 rascals. that was a different combo for sure! i had a lot of good conversation with bailey. and, man, it's easy to take care of 4 when you're used to 6 kids!

we drove to a super fun playground on friday night. bet your friday night plans can't beat mine, ha!

saturday i surprised them and woke them up early from their naps and took them to the pool in our neighborhood that's mostly shallow water. and actually sat and read for a few minutes! but, in all honesty, i mostly watched them. because they are HILARIOUS to watch!
then we got to pick rebekah up!!!! we were ALL so happy to see her! she had a GREAT time, of course. and came home happy and tired.
that evening we went to a party to send off GOOD friends of ours, the Guthries'. they are moving to Australia (!!) and becoming missionaries! we've known them for 15 years...they've walked with us as we were newly married...and then had kids...we love them and appreciate them so much. it is SAD to see them go. but we are excited to see what God does through their family!! it was a bittersweet night for sure!
megan. i did NOT want to let her go. love you SO much, friend!!
that's only through saturday. sunday we went out to dinner as a family (which is a rarity.) it was a celebration of joshua completing his weekend...and rebekah being home! it was a sweet time!

Friday, July 25, 2014


{oh. the trust of a child! "mom. pick me up and let me fall back until my head touches the floor." may i trust my Father that much!!}

"What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?" 
from "Blessings" a song by Laura Story :: a song that speaks to my heart over and over and over again

it's 10 o'clock on a friday night. not my usual time to be writing here.
i'm in my bed with my laptop. not my usual place to be writing here.
but here i am.

rebekah has been gone for almost a week. she comes home tomorrow. i am definitely counting the hours. pat and joshua started a "guy weekend" yesterday (through tomorrow). pat spent a LOT of time planning it. they are doing all kinds of fun "guy" things..and joshua is learning from one of the greatest guys around what it means to be "a guy."

having the older 2 gone has changed the dynamics around here bigtime. i was looking forward to the time with the younger 4. but it's been mostly miserable because they are all out of whack with their big sister AND brother gone. all kinds of arguing and such. i've spent most of the time MOTHERING and little bits of time HAVING FUN. but that's ok. it's what they needed. so it's what we did. but i'm exhausted!

a week ago, i could hardly take a deep breath because i was on the verge of a nervous breakdown every minute. and i couldn't explain why. nothing "big" was happening. just lots of little things were going on. i was clinging to Him and claiming His promises...but i wasn't feeling them. and i was super frustrated with myself. there was no peace in my heart or spirit. and i yearned for it so badly.

tonight i'm completely at peace. all the same "little things" are going on. nothing has really changed. yet my spirit is great. things that had me in tears last week, have me laughing this week. i'm certain it's all Him. His timing and His peace and His way. it was a miserable couple weeks. i'm trying to find a balance between trying to process it and learn from it, and just being thankful that it's over and He is still who He says He is...no matter what!

i'm going to bed with a peaceful heart and a FULL, nearly impossible, day ahead of me tomorrow. bring it on! i'm just praying i see HIM in each moment.

whirlwind trip to RVA!

my aunt Kim (my mom's sister) was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. i've been DYING to get my hands on her and give her a hug. i couldn't take it any longer...and decided to just drop everything, and go. the kids and drove to richmond for a couple days earlier this week.

it was an amazing couple days. we spent an afternoon with my aunt...hugging her, talking and laughing with her...
having a dance party with her!
and praying for her (it was SO fun that my mom happened to be there this week and took some precious pictures!)

we spent the rest of our time with friends. "friends" doesn't even seem like a big enough word. they are all the BEST parts of friends and family all put together.

we stayed at the fogarty's (who have 4 kids that are like cousins to my kids. they just jump right in where they left off! and it was GREAT timing for joshua...since he was missing rebekah big-time...Owen is one of his closest friends.)

this kitchen is one of those places that feels like "home" to me. i've spent so many hours in it...talking...laughing...crying...eating :-)
ali is such a gracious hostess. they had JUST gotten back from vacation and she welcomed me and my crew without hesitation!
and michelle was there, too!! ali, michelle and i met at JMU, have known each other half our lives (!!!) and michelle just moved back to virginia from texas. AND it was her birthday! i was so glad that i could be in town!
spent the next morning at a park with the fogarty's and mcclure's...then spent the afternoon with the ayer's at the pool.
leah and i took 9 kids and somehow kept them all alive while we talked our HEADS OFF.
she is just one of those people that makes you laugh no matter what. she is so easy to be with. and is an amazing listener.
am i blessed or what?!? i came home with such a FULL and happy heart! (which was good...because i got home to NO power at my house. and a sick husband.) but it's all good! i am just overwhelmed with His goodness to me.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

sawyer is 6!

Happy birthday to Sawyer! One of the sweetest parts of my life. When we are walking, he still comes up and puts his little hand in mine. I've enjoyed EVERY day of his life...and I can't say that about any of my other kids...it took me a few kids to learn to enjoy every minute of their precious lives. He is such a gift to my heart.
he opened his presents the night before his birthday because we were headed out of town the next day. he didn't complain :-)

he made this face when he opened EVERY present.
 Bryce Harper Lego guy!
and he got to request birthday for the next morning (his ACTUAL birthday). he asked for chocolate chip scones AND cinnamon rolls.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

wanna see pat in goggles?!?

sometimes i wake up and i don't feel like running. but i do anyways. because i'm thankful i can.
pat is taking joshua away this coming weekend...and he asked me to write him a letter as he's entering a new stage in his life...used my HOURS sitting at a swim meet to do it :-)
made a key lime pie. yum.
for my mom's birthday (in january!) we gave her a REAL photoshoot. we finally did it on saturday evening!
and then on sunday morning we said goodbye to rebekah for a week. she went with our church to a camp a few hours away. it is by FAR the longest she's been gone. she's our oldest. this is BIG STUFF.
we KNOW it's time for her to do this. and we trust that she will have a GREAT time! it was just hard to say, "bye!"
i don't think i'll ever forget the atmosphere in our home when we all got home from dropping her off. we were all so sad. and then realized (when we went to change from church clothes to farm clothes!) that she had left notes on each of our beds.
i bawled. for a LONG time. the ugly kind. it felt so good. and my heart hurt in a way that it hasn't before. these kids just might kill me.
i couldn't stand to be in the house without her...so we went to the farm. this is pat's attempt to make me laugh. it worked :-)
we really had a GREAT afternoon together!
i even climbed up and did that huge slide. the view from the top was incredible!

i miss her like crazy. but i was able to focus on other kids and their needs just a little more with one gone and out of the equation. it's good for all of us. but painful...there were more tears from some of us as the day ended...and she wasn't here...her relationships with her siblings are the most precious thing. she is one amazing girl!

it might look tiny

i couldn't even finish the week on the previous post because i started getting all worked up.

this little thing might look little...but it's not. it about made me have a nervous breakdown. it definitely broke a dam in me of tears that still hasn't stopped. i've cried more in the last few days that in the last few months combined! i think it needed to happen!

on thursday, at lunch, bailey took 1 bite of a sandwich and the OTHER tooth chipped (the skim board must have hit it and loosened the bond...a sandwich shouldn't do that!) i could NOT believe it. neither could she!
i tried my best to finish the week well...took the kids to a new fountain thingy friday afternoon...

this was taken at 3 pm. she had been in her suit since 7 am. door open, windows open. soaking in the beauty amidst the crazy!
and a good finish to the week :-) i busted into that stuff early on friday. i won't say HOW early.

Monday, July 21, 2014

lincoln is 7!!!

we had a birthday celebration for lincoln's birthday last week! waffles and presents. quite a way to start your day if you're a little boy, huh?? :-)
 this kid LOVES life and has added a TON of "life" to our family!!!
{lincoln and levi's birthdays are hard for me. i keep thinking they will get easier. and they don't. they are a black hole, because i don't know what those days looked like. and as their mom, that's just hard.}